Saturday, October 19, 2013

Oct. 19: decent reporting...

...lousy editing...

As a day's newspaper rolls out, editors (are supposed to) look it over, see if the stories have any areas that still aren't sufficiently explained, then go over it with reporters to be covered in their assignment for next day.

I really don't know whether the editors at Irving press are lazy, or terrified of saying something that might offend Mr. Irving, or whether they're just plain thick. But I have never seen evidence they examine the stories at all.

There were obvious questions left after yesterday's story.
1. What started the violence? Yesterday's story said it began when police manhandled a native chief. Today's story says it started because, as Alward is quoted, the protesters were an armed camp.

Those are quite different versions. And they raise another question. How did the police know it was an armed camp when they didn't find those weapons until AFTER their advance on the protesters?

This is not to criticize anybody on either side. The point is we need to know exactly what started it That's important to the story. And, after two days, we still don't know.

2. Yesterday's story carried pictures of men dressed in military-style camouflage, and carrying combat rifles. They were described as para-militaries who were working with the police..

What is a paramilitary? Very-roughly, it is a person who is armed and (perhaps) trained for military combat, but does not fight for his national army. They are normally mercenaries who will fight for whoever pays them. And, as one might guess, the proportion of psychopathic killers among them is very high. The US rents hundreds of thousands of them from companies that deal in such things.

But I have never heard of paramilitaries being used in Canada or, for that matter, within the US. Obviously, it's in bad taste to turn killers loose on your own people.And their rifles not only have a high rate of fire, but use a light bullet at high speed which is unstable when it hits, creating more damage and more deaths than the rifles of World War Two. We are very lucky that nobody was killed by them.

So - who were these para-militaries? Where they contracted foeeign mercenaries? Or did the writer just not know what a para-military is?

And why was such a deadly group mixed with police to deal with a riot?  Editors whould have picked up on that. They didn't. That's why we have news today that tells us no more than the news did yesterday.

As well, the paper still gives us no insight into the background and the ramifications of that violence.
The closest it comes is a column by Michael Woloschuk in NewsToday. He, at least, shows an awareness of how this all goes back centuries to the earliest contact, and the shattering experience of being overwhelmed by an alien society. It's an experience that most of us can't even begin to understand.

And it was made worse, far worse, by our abuse and murder. That last native person in Newfoundland died over a hundred and fifty years ago. Many fell victim to tuberculosis, but many also died simply of murder with a bounty paid for each one.

Native people were deliberately starved to death on the plains, and everywhere saw their traditional economies made impossible as they were forced onto reserves. Then there was the mental, physical and sexual abuse of the residential schools. At no point in that whole, wretched history did Canadian governments make the slightest attempt to honour their obligations.

Most recently, Harper has opened the final war on native peoples, the destruction of their social structure so that no indentifiably native society remains, a campaign marked by racist litereature from Ottawa to be distributed by goofs like Robert Goguen, and by Harper taking over control of native schools. The purpose is to get them out of the way so he can destroy the environment for the benefit of his oil-drilling friends.

And we're suprised there was a riot?

New Brunswick is a good example of the inactivity. It should have been obvious from the start that native peoples would be profoundly affected by oil exploration - and might well object to it in their back yards. That was well over a decade ago.

So when did a premier first deign to even talk to native peoples? Not until there was a blockade at Rexton. Not until it was obvious this was a major problem.

For that matter, no New Brunswick government told the rest of us about it, either. Under pressure, Alward set up a medical study, then trashed it and insulted the whole medical community. Then he and the papers promised there would be a steady flow of information about fracking. He was lying. So were the papers.

Then he picked out an academic fraud, apparently a buddy of Mr. Irving, to be the mastermind for planning shale gas - a subject in which he proved to be a fraud.

It's not just native people who were abused in this way. It's all of us. Even Alward talks are a fraud. We know there is no possiblity he is going to make a deal that would mean stopping the drilling. We all know that. Alward has lied to us as long as he's been in politics. No wonder native people blocked a road. If New Brunswickers were not such a supine lot, every road in this lying province would have been blocked.

The editorial is either brainless or unscrupulous. (Though it's hard to imagine the person who wrote such an editorial having enough brains to be unscrupulous.)  Its point - pretending to be in sympathy with native people - is that this is really a question of money, not of safety. All the native peoples need is a bigger share of the profits. In short, they can be bought.

That is cynical enough. then it advises we call in the federal government to help. Right. Native peoples will love that - big daddy Harper who has been such a keen environmentalist and friend of native peoples, the one who wrote that racist tract about them.

Anyway, that's going to be the Irving route. It's all really just about money. I mean, if we just got paid more for it, we'd love to have great ponds of toxic waste all over the province.

All this is the word of a government and a newspaper chain which have done nothing but lie to and manipulate us from the start.

This is what destroys societies.

Brent Mazerolle writes a column that is weepily on everybody's side. Alas, It shows not the slightest understanding of what this is all about. And he's one of our great, duh thinkers. Duh, this could create jobs.

Brent, listen to what the doctors have told us, the ones who actually have degrees in what they're talking about. Fracking is immensely destructive of the environment and of human health. (duh, but it creates jobs).

Concentrate, Brent. Try to remember what our parents tried to tell us, and what we try to tell our children, "THERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU CANNOT HAVE."

Can you understand that Brent? We are destroying our environment at an unheard of pace. Scientists - real ones, not frauds hired by our politicians and economic bosses - say we are within a decade of feeling the effects of climate change. Very soon, it will be too late to prevent it. And Harper has done...well, he suspended all our research on climate change, and wiped out most of our regulations. But, duh, it creates jobs.

Oh - yeah - we're going to have the world toughest regulation. Yeah. This come from our governments which began shale gas drilling without regulations at all, and still doesn't have any. Nor is there any indication of any being developed.

There are some things you cannot have.
Norbert, as he so often does, writes on three topics, on all of which he is ignorant. Maybe he should be head of our Energy Commission.

The Rexton incident sums up most of New Brunswick's problems. It's newspapers are lying and incompetent, It's political leaders, so far, have been puppets of Irving, and Irving is driven by an unlimited greed and indiffference to others. He also has effectively destroyed democracy in this province and it is that destruction which will destroy New Brunswick society, itself.


But don't worry. Our churches are pitching in with answers to our problems. Check out the Faith Page - pie sales, rummage sales, pancake breakfasts...

The Lord works in mysterious ways....


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